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EXCLUSIVE: Meet Libby, one of the Starlight Foundation Australia's bravest little girls

“But we try to keep everything as normal as possible. She goes to an amazing school, and we take each day as it comes. The nerve pain can be debilitating.”

At the age of seven, Elizabeth Elliott has faced more challenges than most of us will ever experience in a lifetime.

In 2015, doctors discovered the adorable little girl, aged just four at the time, had four brain tumours and diagnosed her with the rare condition of Neurofibromatosis Type 2, which affects just 1 in 250,000 people worldwide.

Not long afterwards, Libby and her parents, Jen and Cameron, were dealt with yet another blow – she also had four tumours on her spine.

Libby has since had an operation to remove most of the tumour behind her eye and another around her sinus cavity, and faces MRI scans every six months. Later this month, she'll undergo surgery to remove a third tumour on her lower spine.

The rest cannot be operated on at present, for risk of complications.

"It's a watch and wait situation," Libby's mother tells Woman's Day.
Pictures exclusive to Woman's Day.

"It's a watch and wait situation," Jen tells Woman's Day. "The doctors want to hold off operating because it'll damage the nerves and could leave her paralysed".

In the long-term, Libby will eventually go deaf, and her mobility will be affected by the growth of the tumours. She won't be able to walk and moving with be difficult. But even facing such an uncertain future Libby's smile still lights up the room, and her family are on a mission to raise funds for research.

"We spend our lives on edge, wondering whether she's getting worse," admits Jen.

Read more: Brain cancer signs and symptoms in children

But even facing such an uncertain future Libby's smile still lights up the room, and her family are on a mission to raise funds for research.
Pictures exclusive to Woman's Day.

"But we try to keep everything as normal as possible. She goes to an amazing school, and we take each day as it comes. The nerve pain can be debilitating."

While the prospect of Libby's condition worsening is tough, the Elliott family have found ways to stay positive, and even help others even worse off.

The Starlight Foundation are also helping Libby build some beautiful memories as part of her version of a "Bucket List".
Pictures exclusive to Woman's Day.

The Starlight Children's Foundation – a non-profit organisation for hospitalised kids and their families - serves as a pillar of strength, and the family take part in Cupid's Undie Run each year to raise money for the Children's Tumour Foundation which has seen dad Cameron wax his legs and even get a tattoo of a unicorn as part of a dare to raise even more.

But they are also helping Libby build some beautiful memories as part of her version of a "Bucket List".

"She [Libby] knows what it's like to be different, so she likes to make people feel included."
Pictures exclusive to Woman's Day.

The animal lover wants to stay at the Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra once she turns 12, and last year, one of her dreams came true when the family travelled to Canada to experience some of its wildlife.

She's just welcomed a new member to the family - nine-week-old puppy Luna - who she's already besotted with, too," says Jen.

"We've had quite a rough few months with pain and Luna has come along at the perfect time to keep her spirits up.

Libby also has a little sister, Kaitlyn, five, who she adores.

"She's a very caring big sister and would be lost without Kaity by her side. They share a room and always play together. Libby is really into her scooter at the moment and is riding it really well.

"She'll happily go up to any child and start a game. She knows what it's like to be different, so she likes to make people feel included."

The Starlight Children's Foundation

Libby and a bunch of other brave children battling the odds were given the chance to meet their celebrity heroes, including world champion surfer Mick Fanning, Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett, singer Timomatic and GWS Giants star Matt de Boer, at Starlight Foundation's 30th birthday celebration late last month.

"I saw the power of laughter and the great work the Captain Starlights do first hand."
Pictures exclusive to Woman's Day.

"It's such a great program to put smiles on kids' faces," says Mick, who has been an ambassador ever since he granted one child's wish by taking him surfing.

Starlight grants wishes to seriously ill children, who get to experience dream holidays or meet their heroes as part of the program.

"You can see the difference Starlight makes in these kids' lives every day," says Libby, who has two daughters, five-month-old Eddie, and two-year-old Poppy.

"I can't imagine having to deal with what these parents and kids have to deal with and I'll do anything I can do to make their lives lighter and brighter.

"It's such a great program to put smiles on kids' faces."
Pictures exclusive to Woman's Day.

AFL star Matt says he was inspired to help Starlight after seeing a seriously ill friend of his brother in hospital enjoying a break from treatment in a Starlight Express Room, where kids are given a dose of fun during their treatment.

"I saw the power of laughter and the great work the Captain Starlights do first hand," he says.

The children on hand for the celebration in Sydney were treated to a two-hour sightseeing flight by Virgin Australia, one of the Foundation's wish granting partners.